Subtypes of social phobia: are they of any use?
Number of pages
SourceJournal of Anxiety Disorders, 21, 1, (2007), pp. 59-75
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI KLP
Journal of Anxiety Disorders
SubjectExperimental Psychopathology and Treatment
This study investigated the existence of DSM-IV social phobia subtype models in the community. Data came from the Dresden Predictor Study of a representative sample of 1877 German women (aged 18–24 years) who completed a diagnostic interview and filled out various self-report questionnaires. The number of feared social situations was distributed continuously without a clear-cut for delineation of subtypes and significantly increased functional impairment, comorbidity, subjective need for psychotherapy, seeking psychotherapeutic help and dysfunctional attitudes, and decreased social support and mental health. Subtype models based on the number (1, 2–4 and >4) and type (‘formal speaking fear’ versus ‘other fears’) of social fear did not have extra value above the continuum model of social phobia. The heterogeneity within social phobia has to be seen as a continuum of severity of social phobia, with a greater number of feared situations associated with more functional, social and psychological disability.
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